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Deputies rescue 2-year-old from hot car in Tampa

TAMPA — Hillsborough County deputies broke open a car window to save a 2-year-old boy who was sweating profusely and dropping in and out of consciousness after his parents had left him in a locked car.

Someone passing by saw the boy in the 2001 Hyundai Elantra, parked at a grocery store at 2540 Bearss Ave., and called authorities. They found the child alone in the front driver's seat and took the boy to University Community Hospital, where he was treated and released to child protective investigators.

Hillsborough sheriff's officials said the boy's parents left him in the car for about 20 minutes without air conditioning.

Deputies arrested Geri Ann Blakeslee, 29, and John Kirk Hayes, 26, who both list the same N Lakeview Drive address in Tampa.

Both parents had knowingly left their son unattended in the car, sheriff's officials said. They were taken to the Orient Road Jail, where they were held Wednesday without bail.

Both face charges of aggravated child abuse. Hayes also faces a violation of probation charge after he was convicted of two counts of felony cruelty to animals in Crystal River, sheriff's officials said.

In that 2005 case, Citrus County sheriff's officials arrested him after they found two neglected dogs, one that later died, in Hayes and Blakeslee's custody, arrest reports show. The dogs, chained without food or water, had protruding ribs and signs of malnutrition, authorities said in the arrest reports.

Justin George can be reached at (813) 226-3368 or

Deputies rescue 2-year-old from hot car in Tampa 08/06/08 [Last modified: Thursday, August 7, 2008 3:12pm]
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